Consciousness clicked on with a sputter and immediately, though clumsily at first, began fishing the surrounding sensory data streams: the sound of a voice, an intense light, an urgent rapping. The bits of information were incessant, with no two details seeming bound by any sort of relevance. At a certain point, consciousness had become a self-conscious “I” that could say to itself that it was awoken by a knuckle rapping against the driver side window, perhaps with a practiced nonchalance. I tried lowering it and found the car battery had died.
“License and registration,” he repeated in a louder voice, his visibly annoyed features peering down through the open top from behind a flashlight. He tapped the badge on his chest to make me understand.
I reached into the glove compartment as slow and deliberate as possible and handed him the documents over the window. He studied me for a long moment before reviewing my license.
“You hurt?” he asked, as if it just occurred to him.
I touched my head. No blood. “No, I’m fine.”
“OK. Stay in the vehicle,” he warned and walked back to his unmarked car.